Seeing the fun his kids were having on the Prince George BMX track, Bill Owen couldn't resist joining them.
"I was tired of sitting on the sidelines watching them have all the fun," said Owen, during Saturday's double points race at the track. "I'm not that good, but I'm out there just having fun and in some sense it's good to show the boys how to lose gracefully."
Owen did that in his first men's cruiser class race, coming in fourth among four riders. Sunday, Owen and his sons Liam Owen and Xavier Rocha rode in the Supertrak BMX provincial ranking finals at the Prince George track.
The family joined the Prince George BMX club in 2012 and are among the 45 members in the club this year. Both of Owen's sons are in the intermediate classes for nine year olds (Liam) and six year olds (Xavier).
Liam turned nine Sunday thus moving up an age category, but he was confident he'd be competitive.
"He goes hard when we're up there together because he always wants to be first across the finish line," said Owen about his son.
Liam had accumulated the most Prince George rider points in his family as of Aug. 6 with 360, while his brother Xavier had 344 and dad brought up the rear with 331. Results from the three-day race weekend weren't available at press time. There were more than 110 riders from across B.C. registered to race.
Owen said Liam would be looking to finish first or second in his group, while Xavier would be happy with a top five finish and he just wants to have fun and cross the finish line. If Liam had his way, all three would race in the same category.
"If we have races together I always beat them and it's too easy, because I'm so fast," said Liam
Conquering the hills and jumps on his BMX bicycle is simple for Liam, compared to the struggles of coping with living with Type 1 diabetes and having to wear an insulin pump since he was diagnosed four years ago.
"Diabetes does not slow this kid down," said Owen. "He loves to race and loves the competition.
"Being out there and being on the track it's not as heart-stopping as it was," added the 41-year-old. "Last year, there was a couple of times the boys went down on the track and crashed. It's hard but they got up and made it through to the finish line."
Anyone is welcome to try out BMX biking on Mondays during the club's practice (6-8 p.m.) or during the club race days Tuesday and Thursday (5:30 to 6:30 p.m. registration, 7 p.m. racing). New riders receive a one-day free trial.